Every processing plant, whether it be food, pharmaceutical or petrochemical has connectors between the different components - the hoppers and vats, sifters and conveyers etc.
These components are often in motion, so the connections need to be flexible. The incumbent connectors were often just any old piece of material attached on the outside of the pipe with hose clips. 'You'd be amazed at all the high tech, million dollar machines around the world with grotty old bits of horse blanket and a hose clip'. The inevitable result is chronic leakage, breakage, wasted time and dust everywhere. Of course fixing the problem wasn't as easy as finding it.
After months of pondering the problem, McPheat sat up in bed at 2am in his Devonport home and told his wife he was going to work. He'd had the idea which was to lead him to his new business.